The Texas Rangers have stumbled out of the gates for the first month of the season and are firmly sitting in last place in the AL West.
This, coming in a year when the Rangers were supposed to bounce back from their awful, injury-riddled 2014. Now, there have been some injuries this year — most notably Yu Darvish and Derek Holland (again) — but the lineup has basically remained healthy, and it still stinks.
With all that said, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels made some comments to the Dallas Morning News that were pretty alarming and signaling some changes — big or small — coming soon.
“We are talking through different ways to improve right now,” Daniels said Sunday evening after the Rangers lost to Oakland 7-1 to fall to 8-16 for the year. “We may make some smaller changes this week, but we’re not going to wait too much longer before we consider mixing it up further. We need to see our focus and execution improve.”
There has been rampant speculation of what those changes could include, but the most assumed change is that hitting instructor Dave Magadan could be on his way out. Hitting instructors are usually the the first scapegoat, right or wrong, when things go bad, and the Rangers offense has progressively gotten worse in each of his three seasons at the helm.
Evan Grant also threw out the idea of demoting 21-year-old second baseman Rougned Odor down to the minors, where he probably should be anyway after being rushed to the bigs last year as a 20-year-old and becoming an everyday second baseman. He survived last season, but this season, he's not surviving and his grasp of the strike zone leaves a lot to be desired.
The other option could be benching a veteran as a punitive measure, and the most likely candidate would be shortstop Elvis Andrus, who committed his seventh error on Sunday.
What do you do if you're Jon Daniels? "Fire yourself" isn't an option.